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George M. HeymannGeorge M. Heymann ()

In my article, “Is the ‘Vicious Propensities’ Rule Losing its Bite?”, NYLJ, 2/18/15, I discussed the N.Y. Court of Appeals holding in Hastings v. Suave, 21 N.Y.3d 122 (2013), and its unanticipated departure from its prior decision in Bard v. Jahnke, 6 N.Y.3d 592 (2006), regarding strict liability for personal injuries caused by domestic animals with vicious propensities. In Hastings, a cow wandered off the defendant’s property and collided with the plaintiff’s vehicle on a public highway causing her to sustain injuries. In that case, the court did not apply the theory of strict liability and held “that a landowner or the owner of an animal may be liable under ordinary tort-law principles when a farm animal … is negligently allowed to stray from the property on which the animal is kept.”

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